Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Egypt finds second pier at ancient temple complex


Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a pier used by ancient Egyptians to access the Karnak temple complex during the dry season in the southern city of Luxor, the Egyptian government said on Monday.

The discovery was further evidence of the importance the complex held in the religious life of ancient Egypt, as other temples had a single dock, according to archaeologist Mansour Boraik, who led the expedition that uncovered the dock.

"In light of the importance of the Karnak temples, which represent the primary home of the god Amun-Ra, the ancient Egyptians built this secondary dock to use when visiting the temples during the dry season," Boraik said.

Amun-Ra was one of the most important gods of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, variously identified as a god of creation, fertility and the sun.

The Karnak complex is a massive, largely open-air religious site that houses several sanctuaries and temples dedicated to different gods, avenues flanked by sphinxes, an obelisk and a sacred lake.

Boraik said the pier led to a platform 2.5 metres (yards) by 5 metres, in contrast with a much larger dock used during the flooding season to handle cargo, sacrificial animals and stone blocks.

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